Got a Train-Loving Kid? They’ll Be All Aboard for These Amazing Destinations

Indoor Places to GoOutdoor Places to Go

Trains captivate kids and adults alike as they rumble down the tracks. The way they roll, chug, and puff along is so fascinating for children. We have quite a few train-lovers in my family, so we’re always on the lookout for fun ways to find locomotives big and small! This list has destinations and events across Chicagoland and beyond that celebrate all things related to railroads.

Local Places and Events For Kids Who Love Trains

Berwyn’s Toy Trains and Models
7025 Ogden Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 484-4384

This shop stocks Chicagoland’s largest collections of model railroading products, specializing in Lionel O Gauge electric trains, but also carries Thomas trains and tons of other toys.

The Great Train Story at the Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

Model railroad with more than 20 trains running on 1,400 feet of track, completing the winding journey between Chicago and Seattle. This exhibit is also near the aviation exhibits for more transportation exploration. For extra credit, take the Metra downtown, then hop on a CTA bus to the Museum Campus stop!

Oakridge Hobby and Toy Store
15800 New Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439
(630) 435-5900

A great store with countless trains to see and explore. The store is located near the train station in downtown Lemont.

Thomas Ford Library
800 Chestnut Street
Western Springs, IL 60558

Thomas Ford has a train in the hallway leading to the children’s area downstairs. Although it doesn’t move, train lovers will enjoy exploring and reading books in the train cars.

Train Saturdays
DuPage County Historical Museum
102 E. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 510-4941

Running every third and fifth Saturday, DuPage County Historical Society welcomes guests to see 2,000 feet of track covering DuPage County landmarks.

Lego Train Show
Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 668-5161
December 10 and 11, 2022

photo courtesy of Cantigny Park

Great Midwest Train Show
DuPage County Fairgrounds
2015 Manchester Road
Wheaton, IL 60187

The world’s largest monthly model train show featuring operating model train displays, LEGO layout and HO layout for the kids to operate. Running the first Sunday of every month.

This annual event is full of large displays with moving Lego trains. It’s free to visit with the $5 parking fee at Cantigny.

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm
17250 S Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403

Ride the train during Pumpkin Fest from the end of September through Halloween each year.

Train Exhibits That Are Worth the Drive

While these locations aren’t technically in the western suburbs, they’re great stops for train lovers!

Illinois Railway Museum
7000 Olson Road
Union, IL 60180
(815) 923-4391

Their very popular Day Out with Thomas events are held during the summer, but there’s fun to be had here all year round, including their Pumpkin and Happy Holiday Railway Santa Trains. Check their events tab for info on their family-friendly events.

Railway Garden
Gabis Arboretum
450 W 100 N
Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 462-0025

Their outdoor g-gauge model train garden tells an American history story. Trains only run from 10:00am – 3:00pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, now through October 31, and are weather-dependent; they encourage calling ahead if the weather looks iffy.

Other Ways to Extend the Train-Filled Fun

  • Get your food delivered in a train car while you enjoy your train-themed surroundings at these Train Restaurants.
  • Hop on the Metra! What’s more exciting than actually being on the train? We’ve rounded up Kid-Friendly Stops Along the BNSF for all your planning needs. Kids 6 and younger ride free; remember to download the Ventra app and buy your tickets ahead of time to make travel a snap.
  • Polar Express Rides are offered in December, but registration starts early. Our Polar Express and Holiday Train Rides list has all the details for 2022!
  • Head to Blackberry Farm in Aurora or Pirate’s Cove in Elk Grove Village for small train rides for young kids. There’s so much to explore at both destinations, and with unlimited rides on the little train, kids will have a blast.
  • There are play trains in the sandboxes at Maryknoll Park in Glen Ellyn and Sunnyside Park in Wheaton.
  • Make a train from cardboard boxes at home with Annie’s instructions.
Sunnyside Park in Wheaton
Annie’s train made from cardboard boxes

Did we miss your favorite spot to see trains? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Downtown Downer’s Grove also has a very nice toy store at the corner of Main and Curtis, less than 2 blocks from the train station.


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